Crime fiction round-up: An exploration of Nick before Gatsby

Plus new thrills from Stina Jackson, Femi Kayode, Eloísa Díaz and Walter Mosley

Nick is based on Nick Carraway’s pre-Gatsby life. Photograph: CBS via Getty

Nick is based on Nick Carraway’s pre-Gatsby life. Photograph: CBS via Getty

The maximalist wing of crime fiction criticism has long held that the standard canon – Godwin, Poe, Collins, Conan Doyle, Christie and Sayers, Hammett and Chandler and so on – is too narrow and restrictive, and that pretty much anything with a crime in it – Hamlet, Bleak House, Crime and Punishment, Sanctuary, The Great Gatsby – should be recruited (or conscripted).

As well as stretching the boundaries of the genre to an unwieldy and unenlightening extent, this approach has always seemed to evince a certain cultural cringe, as if conceding that much of the genre is far from first rate and that its reputation needs bolstering by more conventionally respectable authors.

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